President's Letter

Hello Members:

Your association is moving forward with some of your suggestions and we are seeing improvements with the great forethought and enthusiasm from your board of directors. If you are not using the new association website to post your auctions and yourself you should certainly look into it (pot calling the kettle black) which includes me!!! Members using it have had good rapport from contacts.

Please also participate in the survey like in this newsletter, it contains topic ideas for this year's convention. Along those lines it was brought up about doing a designation course at the convention this year, Robert McDowell did some checking with the NAA and they are no longer doing any designation courses at the state level as it was not a profitable venture for them. If you would like to take one of the courses you will have to go to one of the designation conferences like the one held in Las Vegas and other locations in the United States. I have been to one of the courses and they will certainly give you more information than you can digest in the time allotted, at least it was for me!

Wishing you all the best this auction season.

"Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are."

Author unknown

It sure wasn't me!!

Kevin Hill

Article by Gideon Yutzy, MAA Director

Hello everyone, I hope this news letter finds you all blessed, healthy and busy! In NW Montana we are having a very busy spring with a few auctions, real estate sales, a daughter getting married and life in general!

That's right we had a daughter get married in May of 2018 and now on Thursday the 30th I walk our 2nd daughter Katie down the aisle and hand her over to a fine young man that grew up in our neighborhood, they will make their home in Bonners Ferry Idaho where he will be a flight instructor at the small airport there, these weddings certainly are a reminder of how fast time keeps flying by and the need to keep things in perspective! It also reminds me that we are getting older and entering the next stage of life, I think we call that the grandpa stage! Bring it on; I don't mind!

We are enjoying our spring a lot, the winter was a different one with the weather being very mild until Feb and March hit, Feb was brutal with cold temps and lots of snow and then the first week of March we had the coldest temperatures of the entire winter, that was a surprise! May has been cool with a bit of moisture which has the hay crop looking nice!

We very much enjoyed the MAA conference in Polson in Jan, it is always good to see everyone and we learn a lot and it is just a great overall experience, mark your calendars and make plans to attend that event , January 24 and 25, 2020 in Billings, MT.

Saturday May 18th we conducted the annual auction in the Libby community where we were again reminded why the auction method is the way to go when having a lot of items to sell, with the help of several other auctioneers from around Montana we sold in 2 rings most of the day and sold lots and lots of indoor and outdoor furniture, around 25 hand stitched quilts; with the highlight of the auction being 3 log cabins kits and 3 log pavilion kits.

The top selling quilt of which you will see the photo of sold for $1675, a lady came all the way from Massachusetts to buy a quilt and was very pleased to take that quilt home!

The morning of the auction one of the sellers told me that the largest log cabin kit had a retail price of $40,000 and I am pleased to tell you that I had 3 spirited bidders that drove the price of that log home kit to $47,000!

This is why we love the auction method of selling items, it is quick,efficient, and a very fair method of determining prices!

One other thing that I absolutely love about auctions is the social aspect of the event, on June 8th the Amish community up here in the West Kootenai is conducting their annual school auction where they draw close to 1,000 people every year, I wouldn't miss this event for anything, I see folks at that auction that I see there every single year, it is the biggest day of the year for our little area up here in the Northwest!

Auctions are also very family friendly and the atmosphere can be a very pleasant experience. This is how I came to love auctions as a young Amish lad my dad loved attending auctions and every chance I had I accompanied dad and came to love the excitement and the anticipation that came with attending auctions, growing up on the farm while doing chores I would of course try and imitate the auctioneer and even more important try and do it better then my 5 older brothers and that is how I became and auctioneer!

So to grow our industry, take the family, invite the neighbors and as auctioneers let's do our part to keep the atmosphere a happy place where folks come not just to buy and sell but for the pleasant social experience as well!!

Don't hesitate to give me a call if I can do anything for you and as one of your directors on the MAA if you know of any auction companies , or individuals that you feel should be a member of the MAA don't hesitate to let me know about them and I will do my best to contact them and offer them a membership in our association!

You all have a safe and blessed summer!

Article by Wade Affleck, MAA Director

Hello Montana Auctioneers Association,

Once again it has been my pleasure to serve on the board of directors this year. I feel that I have gained much from my experience both being a member and a director. I feel like we have a very good association with everyone striving for better.

I would like to start out by asking if you are enjoying your new MAA website? It seems auctions are being posted regularly on the auction board for both live and online auctions. This is our goal, to make things more streamlined and to simplify the process. We are always open to suggestions. It is a continual changing work.

Auctions seem to be picking up quite nicely this year. Seems like we are seeing an increased amount of farm sales due to poor farming economics in our area. We hope farmers will catch a break soon and the economics will turn for the better. All that being said, we just wrapped up a large one-consigner auction. This was strictly an online only auction. We must admit, there was a little concern of how things would do with the current economics. We marketed strongly outside of our normal market, as well as inside our usual market place. At completion of the auction we where still very impressed with over all prices. Buyers signed up from sixteen different states and two provinces to bid, a great bidding participation. Removal was interesting! Everyday we had trucks and all different types of trailers roll in and load up. Some loads you wonder how, but then, some how, they get loaded and start heading for home. As I write this letter, I can look out and I see only a few pieces to be removed. It’s been fun but there is a feeling of relief, another one successfully completed and now we clean up and get ready to start again!

Look forward to seeing you all in Billings for the annual conference. Like always, to get together and see everyone is always a blast! Have a great rest of the year everyone. Best luck to all.

Article by J.K. Kinsey, MAA Director

I just received my notification today to get registered for the National Auctioneers Association Conference and Show in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hopefully I get to see some of you down there this summer. The educational seminars and networking keep me going back. It seems every time I attend a
seminar I bring back a nugget to implement in my business. A trip well worth its weight in gold. I highly recommend.

As a board member for the Montana Auctioneers Association and being on the advocacy committee for the MAA, this year we started the inaugural “Day at the Capitol” in Helena, Montana. I would like to thank everyone that came to the Day at the Capitol and made that event a success. The event was well
represented by JimBo and Chris Logan, Shane Ophus, Nick Bennett, Dan Pate, Doug Dandro, Cody Seccomb, Montana Auctioneers Association President Kevin Hill and myself.

We started the morning with breakfast at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel, we then had a briefing meeting prior to going to the Capitol. Once at the Capitol we met with our State Representatives and then met with Lt. Governor Mike Cooney who delivered us a letter of the Declaration from Governor Steve Bullock declaring the first Saturday in May as National Auctioneers Day in Montana. At 1 p.m. we marched to the Senate Floor to sell at auction two flags that President Scott Sales donated to benefit Jack Racicot, an intern at the State Capitol that got in a ski boarding accident that left him paralyzed.
The auction raised $3100.00 and was very well received with a standing ovation after each item was sold. Television stations and the Great Falls Tribune had great coverage of the entire event. The auction became quite emotional as the Secretary to President Sales came out of the auction with tears in her eyes over how much money we raised at auction for Jack. It was a big day for the Montana Auctioneers Association and a day I will cherish for a lifetime. The next time that the MAA has a “Day at the Capitol” I encourage you to attend.

What is the purpose of “Day At The Capitol”?

The “Day at the Capitol” serves a few different purposes that are vital to all of us in the auction industry.

  1. Getting in front of our elected officials and advocating for small businesses including lower taxes, health care, privatization of the sale of government assets utilizing Montana Auctioneers Association members and the legal sale of firearms at public auction.
  2. Promoting the auction method of marketing and what better way to do so with news coverage like we had and our members that attended and the MAA sharing their story on social media.

The Day on the Hill for the National Auctioneers Association is September 11-12th in Washington D.C. . I would encourage members to join us at the Nation’s Capitol and help us advocate for the auction industry. You can register for this event for more information email . I will be attending this event and would be more than happy to guide you in the right direction while we are there.

Lastly if you aren’t utilizing the Montana Auctioneers Association website to post your auction events you are missing out on literally thousands of potential buyer views for each auction. The analytics are available on the site to prove it. The website host also sends out a email newsletter of upcoming auction events weekly.

What are you waiting for?


J.K. Kinsey CAI, AMM

Montana Auctioneers Association members in attendance with Lt. Governor Mike Cooney holding the Declaring of National Auctioneers Day in Montana

The Montana Auctioneers Association members in attendance with Lt. Governor Mike Cooney holding the Declaring of National Auctioneers Day in Montana . Left to right Nick Bennett, Cody Seccomb, Dan Pate, Doug Dandro, Lt. Governor Mike Cooney, J.K. Kinsey, Kevin Hill, Shane Ophus, Chris Logan, JimBo Logan.

Article by Hannes Combest, Executive Director of NAA

I’m sitting in my office on a beautiful sunny spring day thinking about how gorgeous it is and I hear music next door in the Boardroom. I almost get up to find out what it is and then I remember – we have people from all over Kansas City in the Boardroom judging the 950 entries we received for the USA Today Marketing Competition!

All of the judges have marketing in their jobs – either working for a marketing agency or an association or company in a marketing role. I had lunch with them today and asked what they had learned about the auction industry and about marketing during their work.

To a “t,” they all talked about the detail that was included and about how important the entries were. We talked about what their perceptions had been (that all auctioneers did was “talk fast”) to what the reality is – that auction professionals are experts not just in calling bids, but also in marketing their assets to the general public.

If an auction professional is really successful, it’s generally because their marketing is sophisticated, using an integrate

d blend of marketing styles that best represents the asset they are selling to a targeted audience. In my mind, these competitions – the marketing contests held by your state and national associations, are by far the most important competitions that exist.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good bid calling contest – it’s fun and exciting and something that most people in this industry love – and frankly, the public loves it as well! But what is really important is getting the seller to the table and the bidders to the auction! The only way to accomplish that is through effective marketing.

I think most people in our industry know that. Why would we have 950 (yes 950) marketing entries otherwise???

We won’t know who wins for a while (it will take some time to total the scores AFTER the judges leave). But what I do know is that next time your state association announces that they are accepting marketing entries or next spring when NAA announces that our competition is open, you should enter your best work.

And then if you win….make sure you market that to your clients – all of them – your sellers AND your bidders. They need to know that professional auctioneers are distinguished from the “Do It Yourselfers” who put their stuff online and just let people find it. A professional auctioneer knows how to look at an asset, determine who the audience is that wants that particular asset and develop a marketing plan that will bring bidders!

THAT is why you hire a professional! And the people who are judging the contest in the Boardroom, well….they now get it… converts to the auction method of marketing!

Hope to see you in July at the International Auctioneers Conference and Show (July 9-13, 2019) where you can learn more about marketing and other important activities to help you grow your business or make it more efficient! See you there!

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